Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Farewell Richard Merkin

This photo of Richard Merkin is from my "family" photo album
I was great friends with the father of the little boy with the top hat
and he was great friends with Richard
I used to baby sit the little boy...and worship Richard when he visited

Richard Merkin, a painter and illustrator whose fascination with the 1920s and 1930s defined his art and shaped his identity as a professional dandy, died Sept. 5 at his home in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. He was 70.
I knew Richard through mutual friends. He would turn up for cocktails, or just to hang out. My friends collected art deco, and Richard lived the life of that era. He collected many things from the 1920's to the 1940's. He dressed like something out of an old black and white Hollywood movie. He was an artist, and he taught art at The Rhode Island School of Design, to which he commuted weekly from New York where he lived. He was on the cover of the Beatles Sargent Pepper album cover! He was super glamorous to me, and I worshiped him.

The little boy in the top hat all grown up
His name is Sundance DiGiovanni HERE

There is an excellent obituary in the New York Times HERE, and well worth the read.
Richard is another one of a breed of true originals that doesn't seem to be able to be nurtured and thrive in today's world of internet uber self promotion, and world of flimsy reality television celebrity. There was a true loss of quality and depth when Richard passed away.
Heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

Richard was called a dandy. This past Sunday in the New York Times Men's Fashion Magazine there is a wonderful editorial called about the dandy HERE.
Long live the dandy! Long live the legacy of Richard Merkin!

Click on images for a larger view

1 comment:

Carey said...

Fascinating. And another interesting link in your chain. So sorry for another loss, Miz. V.